A while back, I dove back into the world of retail, after a hiatus of a few years. I took a job, working hard, having fun, and creating sawdust, at the Home Depot store in Port Coquitlam.
It feels good to be ‘back in the aisles”, helping folks with their projects, and giving them a hand with finding the items they want, and need.
The other day, along with about a dozen Home Depot associate volunteers, we went to Coquitlam, to do outreach, with our store’s next #TeamDepotCA project.
TeamDepotCA, is the project where Home Depot Associates go out in their communities, and volunteer time, energy, supplies, and elbow grease… and work on something that a worthy local organization needs a hand with.
On this occasion, the group getting a hand, was the RainCity Housing Shelter, at 3030 Gordon, in Coquitlam.
Our team showed up with trimmers, shovels, rakes, plants, garden accessories, and a lawn mower… and over the next few hours, we cut the front boulevard. Added shrubs and winter pansies at the entranceway. Cut the back yard, and installed edging in the garden to make future maintenance easier. We pulled out a few plants that had died, and replaced them with bulbs that will be nice surprise for the residents, when next Spring comes around.
And in the process of giving back, we had a ton of fun… and are looking forward to our next Project!
Home Depot’s Orange Door Program (part of the Home Depot Canada Foundation) has a focus on ending Youth Homelessness. You can find out more, by going to the website.
Here are a few pictures, from the day’s activity.
A fun time was had by all…
(Click on any photo,
At a Social Media Meetup, in 2016, we met the folks from West Coast Flying Trapeze, a new business, located in Pitt Meadows.
They are a business that offers training in various circus-related skills:
- Aerial Silks
- Aerial Hoop
- Hand Balancing
- Flying and Static Trapeze
- (And they are adding more services, all the time!)
Their facility is housed in an expansive 8000 square foot hanger, located near the Pitt Meadows Airport.
Check out their video below, for an overview of the fun!
Because I’ve had a few incidents with whiplash, I wasn’t surprised to hear that the Manager suggested that I *NOT* try the trapeze… which was my first indication that it was a top-down, safety-first facility.
The staff was all professional, and their incremental method of teaching the students, seemed to be designed specifically to maximize the opportunity for the students to succeed, as much as they could.
From the West Coast Flying Trapeze brochure:
“Circus does not require a ton of strength, a high degree of flexibility, or a certain body type. All you need to do is show up. Our Coaches will guide you through the rest. At West Coast Flying Trapeze, it’s not about what your body looks like, it’s about what your body can do!”
If you are looking for a fun activity for just about anybody, I would suggest checking out West Coast Flying Trapeze… they are a Circus School for everyone!
They are located at Unit 105 – 19055 Airport Way, Pitt Meadows, BC. (At the intersection of Airport Way and Baynes Road)
You can find more information about their services and their prices, on their website: WestCoastFlyingTrapeze.com
It is a fun venue, for both the participants, as well as observers… not only from the Circus training, but also from the perspective of the highly-entertaining four-legged friends: Russell and Tally — two very different dogs, who (seemingly) love to cuddle and entertain “audience” members! (Video below)
* I have said it before, but it bears repeating: The endorsement of this business was not bought. Nor was it paid for, by credits, free classes or anything else. Any outside businesses, which are endorsed on the “What’s In Store” category of the Blog, are endorsed, because they are good businesses, that I frequent (or have frequented) and believe they are worthy of mention. I do not accept remuneration of any kind, for my Blog Posts.
Recently, Lorie and I started crafting and selling small doors for magical creatures… and so, whether you need a home for your Gnomes, Hobbits, Pixies, Elves or Fairies… we have a door that is just right for your needs!
Some are fanciful… others quite rustic… some are colorful… and others understated. Something for every taste. Each is one-of-a-kind, and hand-crafted. (Honestly, I would post pictures, but they change ALL. THE. TIME.)
Lorie has also made some fun and funky whimsical accessories… banners, flags, wind chimes and more…
You can find the full assortment of what is currently available, in our Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/GardenFairyDoors/
For fun, we also created TreeMax – a “Fairy Tale Realty Company”: https://treemax.ca/
And, if you want the full story on how we got started making Fairy Doors, you can find the details here: https://gardenfairies.ca/
Some time ago, there was a daytime talk show, I can’t remember which one, where the host had a guest on, who was paralyzed by her parents deaths.
As the primary caregiver, she had been responsible for their everyday care and function, as well as advocating for their healthcare.
And, upon the occasion of their passing, she found that she would go into a depression, every time there was a big holiday (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving) at their birthdays… but especially on their Death Dates. Those were really hard to bear.
The advice from experts was to remember those who passed on their birthdays, try to build new and different traditions on special Holidays, and to try to block acknowledgement of the Death Dates, by staying busy, and planning activities that “take over” the Death Dates, and by trying to “take away their power”, by remembering the good times, and pushing the sad memories away.
I have, for the most part, been able to focus on the memories I have of them, from when they were alive, and the “treasures” I have, that (for me) helps to remind me of them, and keep their memory alive.
It struck me recently, that this year will be 20 years since my Mum passed, and shortly after, we started on the roller coaster that my Dad’s health journey would become, for his last few years.
In many ways, I think I was very fortunate to stumble upon that talk show, on that day. It certainly has helped me.
But, on this day, it suddenly, and without warning, shocked me that 20 years had passed. I guess that is the power of dates, over time.
And so, I shall raise my mug of tea, in toast… and go back to keeping busy.
Today is the Birthday of a Social Media friend, who I first met through Twitter, and then extended my friendship onto Facebook.
He lived in Pittsburgh, and we never met in real life… but through the years we would talk about hockey… music… and as we got to know one another better, our past struggles with Depression.
Then one day, he was gone…
No warning. No last post. No rants about Facebook or Twitter trolls.
Just… suddenly… nothing.
And for the last few years, upon the occasion of his Birthday, it causes me, and his many other perplexed friends, to post on his FB wall, and to put out Tweets… hoping against hope, for a response.
But there are none.
I think we’ve all had friends who, upon encountering online trolls, or discordant opinions, have taken breaks, or retreated offline. I myself, have had periods where there is just “too much muchness”, and going offline seems the easiest way to quickly quiet, a sometimes overwhelming and noisy world.
But these retreats by me, and by others, are usually prefaced by a “Taking a break for a while” note… or alternately, a rant complaining about the ugly sides of Social Media. Some come back, and others do not. But in most cases, there is a build-up or explanation to the reasons for the interruption.
In Matt’s case, there was none.
It was he, who called his online profile ‘Spazz Matt’.
And, so today, it made me wonder…
About the nature of friendships, and how we are naturally drawn to some people. How we form bonds of commonality, traveling roads (whether real or virtual) together, and enjoying “shared” experiences together.
And it makes me wonder…
How someone could, after years and years, suddenly give up on all those friendships.
And then I wonder…
Beyond the facile friendships of an online community, if the struggle behind the persona, overcame the person themselves. I hope not.
But… in all likelihood, I’ll never know.
So, on the occasion of his Birthday, I post this Simon & Garfunkel video, in honour of Matt, who would (in my recollection) doubtlessly, mock my choice.
And, with apologies to S&G, I present… “For Matt, Whenever We May Find Him”
And, because I would agree that the tone isn’t quite right, I give you (again) the greatest song ever written…
“I’m Going To Go Back There, Someday” by the Great Gonzo.
Was pleased and excited last week to hear about Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player, being selected in the NFL Draft.
Then, this week, I saw this video about the number WHERE he was picked… 249th overall.
The NFL Draft comes on the heels of NBA player, Jason Collins, announcing that he is gay.
The biggest difference between the two, is that Michael Sam has not yet “proven his worth” at the professional sports level, (he was drafted out of College, where he was extremely successful) whereas Jason Collins was nearing the end of his career, and had become a free agent, (prior to his being signed by the Brooklyn Nets in February 2014).
No doubt, it is difficult to be first. There has to be a massive amount of consideration, prior to announcing something that is private, and frankly, SHOULDN’T MATTER TO ANYONE.
Why would any team or sports organization want anything BUT the best players, regardless of color, sexual orientation, nationality or whatever other criteria you want to divide people by. And yet, it apparently still does.
In one article I read recently, this quote floored me…
One NFL coach, speaking anonymously to Sports Illustrated after Sam came out, said: “I don’t think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet.”
I sincerely hope I am wrong… but the Teams who are giving these players their opportunities, seem to be struggling to find success. And both Teams received a “bump” in merchandising revenues, when these signing announcements were made. And that got me thinking about ‘tokenism’.
If you aren’t sure what tokenism is, here is the Dictionary.com definition:
TOKENISM:1) the practice or policy of making no more than a token effort or gesture, as in offering opportunities to minorities equal to those of the majority.2) any legislation, admissions policy, hiring practice, etc., that demonstrates only minimal compliance with rules, laws, or public pressure: Admitting one woman to the men’s club was merely tokenism.
In light of recent ugliness on Social Media by Boston “fans”, directed towards PK Subban (an African-American hockey player), it makes me wonder how far we’ve come, towards being an “enlightened” society. Many retired hockey players admit, that they do research on the families and friends of opponents, in order to be able to “rile up” opponents in on-ice scrums. But, as hockey fans, how do we so easily cast aside the legacy of Boston Bruin Willie O’Ree (the first hockey player to break the color barrier in 1958) and call out a player who is a visible minority. PK Subban is a well spoken, skilled hockey player, who works hard (on and off the ice) to promote hockey as a sport for everyone.
Hopefully, the selection of an openly gay football player, Jason Collins’ announcement, more and more visible minorities playing hockey, and inclusive organizations such as You Can Play – are just the beginning of a more open and inclusive sports environment, and the culture of sports will become more enlightened. This would, I think, help move sports fans, and society as a whole, to a better place.
I don’t think that there should be quotas, or requirements, or any such “rules”… but simply allow the best players to play in the top sports leagues, without their ethnicity, skin color, or sexual orientation being of ANY concern. I believe the only thing that any of these athletes wants, is to be considered on an equal basis, against the others competing for the available positions on the teams.
I don’t think ALL the idiots will ever go away. But, in the last while, sports fans have seen a LOT of examples of team owners (such as Donald Sterling), team management (Michael Sam getting passed over 248 times), and team coaches (see the “anonymous” quote above), indicating that many of the idiots are still RUNNING the Teams.